» The pitfalls of communicating with employees and customers

The pitfalls of communicating with employees and customers

October 20, 2010 by Valerie Helmbreck
Posted in: In this week's e-newsletter, Latest News & Views, Leadership, Technology

Organizational leadership has its privileges. And it has constraints. Watching what you say and taking into consideration where and how you say it are important, especially online.

All this raises the legitimate question of whether chief execs should blog or not.

Experts say it can be dangerous.

Executive coach Jason Seiden recently tackled the topic on on his site, “Fail Spectacularly,” where he urges leaders to be careful in their rush to communicate with workers via a Web log, aka a blog.

Why? For starters, an organizational leader has an instant following eager to parse any communication for its true meaning or intent. That can be a tough audience for a newbie writer in the blogosphere. Without expert communications help, the neophyte blogger could make blunders that will have serious repercussions in the company.

There’s also a risk to a leader’s reputation as an expert if there are any mistakes or even minor inaccuracies in a blog post.

And finally, a leader’s job of setting the right example means any blog post will offer both opportunity and risk. A blog post will shine a very bright light on an executive’s attitudes and behaviors. That kind of scrutiny can be stressful. Are you sure you’re ready for it?

Execs who decide to blog should consult with a trusted communications adviser for help. At the very least, find a trusted editor who can give your postings a thorough review.


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